Fine Arts

Summer arts program to offer skilled guidance

UH School of Art Director is excited about an upcoming opportunity for students to receive mentoring and begin a successful art career through the Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program.

Only five museums nationwide have been selected to participate in the program.

The Museum of Fine Arts-Houston was chosen along with the Art Institute of Chicago, the High Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, according to the MFAH.

Fifteen students from the Houston area, possibly a majority being UH students, will be chosen to participate in the summer academy by the end of April. The deadline to apply is April 7.

Through this academy program, students will spend time working at the museum, participating in behind-the-scenes museum tours and workshops with professionals at the MFAH, and they will also be involved in networking events, according to the MFAH. The Mellon Program wants to encourage underrepresented groups to enter into the curatorial field, UH School of Art Director Rex Koontz said.

“(This is) exploding right now. There’s no other program like it out there that we know of,” Koontz said. “It is a huge thing for UH to have a program centered here in Houston where they are really trying to cultivate talent, especially with our diversity.”

At the end of the intensive summer program, two of the 15 students will be chosen for a $10,000 stipend per summer for four years and real working experiences in the museum with a professional mentor. This will help students to pay for tuition and develop valuable work experience for post-graduation. An informative tip from Koontz is that the participants “don’t have to be art students yet.” UH is looking for intelligent students to present to the museum who can decide to double-major or switch majors after being received into the summer program.

The Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program will be in summer 2014 and 2015, and an overall 20 students will be selected nationwide to receive a stipend and a mentor to enhance their education and curating experience in the museum world.

Students can find the application and a description of the process here.

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